CP+B has whipped up yet another offbeat marketing idea for Mini, this time with something the agency likes to call "interactive fiction." The "Robots" campaign began with an internet buzz when CP+B released an URL, via techie websites and blogs, to drive traffic to www.r50rd.co.uk/research/internal/v2i/engin. The site contains "information" pertaining to the (completely fictional) eccentric British scientist Colin Mayhew and the top-secret project he was working on, which involved experiments in which parts from Minis were converted into "do-good/superhero" humanoid robots. Small ones, we presume. Interviews, QuickTimes and a detailed history of the experiments performed by Dr. Mayhew, with entries dating back to 1999, really fill out the hoax. Another URL was seeded at paranormal websites and blogs to drive traffic to a site that details the public sightings of the robot in action, http://uk.geocities.com/oxfordsightings. This was followed by the Men of Metal booklet, an alleged excerpt from the book of the same name, which details the "urban legend" around the Mini robots, as well as the search by "author" Rowland Samuel to draw links between the robots, Dr. Mayhew and the stories that led to the legend-the booklet is an insert in April and May issues of the likes of Rolling Stone, Men's Health, Men's Journal and Motor Trend, and it is also being distributed free at select Hudson Newsstands. CP+B claims almost 200,000 unique visitors to the sites in March, during which time Colin Mayhew received over 100 e-mails. At press time, it remained unclear if they would actually be answered.
Client: Mini Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky/Miami ECD: Alex Bogusky CD: Andrew Keller AD: Paul Keister, Dave Swartz CWs: Mike Lear, Bob Cianfrone Photographers: Sebastian Gray, Paul Keister Website Illustrator: Rony Kubat Animation: Zoic Studios